"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Posts tagged “Sari

Shopping For Saris


Next Wednesday is Dalila’s birthday.

Yesterday Anu and I went across to the mainland, ostensibly to buy fabrics to re-cover the diwan and dining room chairs.

In reality, Dalila’s birthday pressed heavily on our minds. We were acutely aware of past inadequacies and humiliations.

With skilled help, Anu and I both felt the only way was up.



Kalyan Silks sells the best textiles in Cochin and has two floors devoted to saris.


But I had failed to think it through:  Two floors devoted to saris.

We were totally overwhelmed.


Beautiful, elegant and amused, female shop assistants ask if they can help.

– Who are we buying for? A bride?-

– No. Our wonderful cook –

– How old is she? –

Anu is flummoxed. But I have many years of professional training behind me and flatter myself into thinking I’m a shrewd judge of age.

(I also know the age of her sons.)

I hazard an expert opinion.

We are led to countless rows of saris, deemed suitable for Dalila. As an act of charity, a male shop assistant is summoned to help us out.

I choose a sari for Dalila. Anu chooses his gift.

We are almost finished but I know that every sari has a dedicated choli.

The material fortunately includes its matching length for a top.

– You want a blouse lining? –


– This material is see through –

Yes. We need a blouse lining.

– You want a skirt lining? –



Trust me:

After this, choosing soft furnishings is a doddle.



Photographs taken by me in Kalyan Silks. Art work taken, without permission, from the Kalyan Silks website